Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What a week!

WOW! Thats about sums it up, but Ill try to go into a bit more detail for you! :) This past week we travelled to Zimbabwe to attend a conference on Soccer ministry put on by AWANA Clubs Int'l. For those of you who dont know, my parents are AWANA missionaries and I practically ate, drank and breathed AWANA for the first 18 years of my life. The training was being done in part by friends of ours from back home, so it was a great opportunity for some fellowship as well. We are grateful they let us non-AWANA missionaries attend so we could learn the program as well and use it hopefully here.

 Soccer drill sheet. This now makes sense to me. 

We also spent a day visiting with my team leaders from my last Teen Missions Int'l Trip in 1996, Pastor Emmanuel and Betty Zihove. This couple was a huge influence in my life back then, and were used by God in many ways, not the least of which was to encourage me to return to Africa as a full time missionary. Its been 16 years since I saw them last and I waited two years after arriving here to even know if they were still alive, and now another two to finally make it work to visit them! I cant express to you how encouraging it was to sit and fellowship with people who made such an impact on me, and my family. My mother says it is her dream to one day meet them as well. 
 Posing for one last photo after lunch.
Betty playing the tambourine during worship.
 Man, how I missed them! I do not know if they will ever truly understand the impact they  had on my life, and indirectly on the lives I hope to impact myself! Never underestimate how much power an encouraging word or caring action can have in a young person's life. These two did not do anything spectacular- they just cared when I needed it, and spoke encouragement to me. They bought me a sprite when I was sick and sent my parents a letter. Nothing earth-shattering. But it was enough.
 I was asked to share a testimony at church, and Rick was asked to preach.

We arrived home to see the progress on our house. They guys kept pretty busy while we are gone, but Rick is hoping that we can get a good amount of stuff done in the next few weeks and get this roof on!
 Both end peaks are now done! Only this last little section of the middle wall needs completion! then we can START with roof type stuff. The interior walls all still need to have their peak parts done but that wont stop the roof starting.
 Our pedrieros hard at work! It freaks me out how he stands so far out over the brace. ACK!
 I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!! (Thanks to God for providing the sunbeams for added effect!) :) Of course this is only one part of the project nearing completion, but every little bit helps!
 Looking out our bedroom window.
 Getting the cement up to the top is a bit of a process.
 You have to scoop it into the bucket.
 Then lift it as high as you can.
 Then haul it the rest of the way up! Heavy work!
 Other workers are sanding down the Eucalyptus poles to be used as beams and supports.
 The view from one of the windows in what will be Tendai's room. Shes got the best view.
 Other window.
The view from YOUR room! :) It will look much nicer eventually, I promise. This is the view from the guest bedroom where we hope to have family and maybe even some other visitors stay with us when they come to visit! :) WOOHOO!

Thank you for your prayers as we travelled last week. We had no problems with borders or police or safety at all, which was a huge blessing. Although I came down with Malaria at the end (we think), it seemed to be a mild case and Im up and over it so that is great!

Praise and Prayer Requests!

-Safety as we travelled to Zim!
-Progress on the house!
-A good time of learning and fellowship with friends in Zim.
-The airstrip project is still moving ahead!! WOOHOO!
-For a home church that has been praying for us and encouraging us in so many ways lately! THANKS!

- For health, we have all had Malaria again this past month, and now we seem to be fighting a flu bug.

-For Rick as he prepares for several Children's Ministry Seminars next month, and us as he will be away for a good chunk of time, and Tendai and I will be farm bound with no vehicle for that time.

-For our support and special projects funding needs to be met. We are heading into a busy time with ministry and house construction and need funds to be able to continue with both!

-For the team from our home church, Grunthal Abundant Life Fellowship, that is getting very close to coming out here! Only two months till they get here and we cant wait! Praying for calm nerves, that last minute preperations go well, that their hearts are prepared for what God can show them here and that they are able to be a witness of His love and care to the people they meet as they work here!

Thanks again for all the prayers and support! God Bless,
Rick, Heather & Tendai Neufeld

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